SFTP using FileZilla for Windows

Updated on

Audience: Faculty, staff


Learn how to use FTP with FileZilla for Windows.

Download FileZilla

If you do not have FileZilla and would like to get it, you can download it for free from the SourceForge.

Please note: FileZilla supports both FTP and SFTP (secure FTP). On this page, we discuss its use for SFTP as we no longer offer public FTP access to the university servers.  (If you feel that you still require FTP access, please contact the IST Service Desk.)

To start the FileZilla program, double-click on its icon.

Filezilla user interface

The FileZilla window has five main sections:

  • The top section contains server messages.
  • The middle two on the left side correspond to the Local System. Use this window to navigate your local system to choose a transfer directory.
  • The top window contains the directory list, and the bottom one shows the files in the current folder.
  • The Remote System window is on the right side. This contains the directory and file listings of the remote system.
  • The bottom section contains file transfer information. All the current file transfers will be displayed here.

There are two ways to connect to a server. One is to use Quickconnect, and the other is to create and then use a profile.

Using Quickconnect to Access an SFTP Account

FileZilla quickconnect interface.
  1. Enter s (for staff) or s (for students) in the Address field.
  2. Enter your UMNetID in the User field.
  3. Enter your password in the Password field.
  4. You can either enter 22 in the Port field or leave it blank.
  5. Click Quickconnect.

Create a profile

  1. Click on File, then Site Manager to open the Site Manager window.
Site Manager highlighted in the File menu.
  1. Click on New site to add a new site.
  2. Click on Rename to give the profile a meaningful name, such as UofM or CCL.
Site Manager General settings.
  1. In the Host field, enter a hostname:
    • For staff,
    • For students,
  2. Set the server type to SFTP 
  3. Set the Logon Type to normal and enter your username and password for the specified host.
  4. To connect to this site, click Connect.
  5. To set up other features, such as the default remote directory, click on Advanced. This is useful if you frequently use a particular folder such as "public_html."

Connect using a profile

  1. Click File, then Site Manager to open the Site Manager window.
  2. Click the site (e.g. “ccl”) to which you would like to connect.
  3. Make sure the username and password are correct.
  4. Click Connect on the bottom left side of the window.
  5. You should now be connected to the selected server. If you are not able to connect, ensure that your Internet connection has not been lost.

Known issues

If the connection seems to hang for 20s and then retries with a message that includes:


Status: Connected to

Error: Connection timed out after 20 seconds of inactivity


It may be that you have customized your shell initialization file (~/.bashrc or ~/.cshrc) to include an “echo” statement to display information.  This is not in our default configuration but is valid usage.  Please try reconnecting after commenting out the echo statements in your initialization file. If you would like help or would like some support on your customizations please contact the IST Service Desk.

Additional resources


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